As the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), a new mutation, Omicron, rapidly spread in the United States, the average daily number of new infections exceeded 300,000, breaking a new record high. However, the number of inpatients and deaths has not increased significantly, so major countries such as the United States are distancing themselves from the same large-scale lockdown measures as they did at the beginning of last year.
According to the New York Times (NYT) on the 30th (local time), the average number of confirmed cases per week in the United States was 301,472 as of the 29th. The previous day, 267,305 people broke the previous record (251,232 people) on January 11 of this year, but more than 30,000 people increased in just one day. In the past two weeks, the average daily number of confirmed cases in the United States has more than doubled. In particular, large cities in eastern regions such as Washington, New York, and New Jersey are leading the spread of the United States.
However, the number of inpatients and deaths is relatively stagnant compared to the number of confirmed cases rapidly increasing several times. The number of hospitalized patients stood at about 75,000 as of the 29th, an 11% increase from two weeks ago. The average number of deaths per day was 1,207, a decrease of 7% during the same period. As a result, there are cautious expectations that the spread of this virus will cause relatively little damage compared to the number of hospitalized patients exceeding 100,000 and the daily death toll of more than 3,000 in January of this year. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Wallensky said at a briefing today that “Omicron has spread nationwide over the past few weeks, but hospitalizations and deaths have been relatively low.” Amesh Adalja, a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health and Security, told the Associated Press, “Now that vaccines and treatment technologies have advanced, it is very unlikely that the number of inpatients will increase to the previous peak. “People will get used to it being meaningless,” he said.
However, some point out that it is premature to be optimistic about these indicators because the number of hospitalized patients and deaths is usually reflected with a lag of two weeks or more. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a briefing at the White House on the 29th that “all indicators indicate that Omicron is less severe than Delta.” Director Fauci also appeared on the same day’s broadcast, saying, “If a virus with low severity and high transmission power replaces other viruses, that would be a positive result.” Viruses have tricked us in the past.” In response to the question of “when will this spread reach its peak,” he said, “I think we will have to wait a few more weeks. I think it will probably be around the end of January.”
New York = Correspondent Yoo Jae-dong [email protected]